I remain in awe of the breadth of theatre available in New York--and I remain dedicated to the idea that New York theatre is much more than Broadway. In fact, only one of my top ten entries is a Broadway show; four were Off-Broadway; three were at City Center or St. Ann's; and the remainder were Off-Off-Broadway. In other words, New York continues to offer superb theatre options for less than the cost of a movie and popcorn.
Here's my list, mostly in alphabetical order, followed by some random "bests." (Where possible, I've provided a link to my review.)
Blossom: Puppet theatre at its most emotional best.
Cabin in the Sky: Not a great show, but, oh, those performances!
Coriolanus: Physically thrilling.
King Charles III: Emotionally and verbally thrilling.
A Little Night Music: Beautifully sung, unmiked, heaven.
Small Mouth Sounds: Can one produce an excellent show with limited dialogue? Author Bess Wohl and director Rachel Chavkin can.
A Streetcar Named Desire: Gillian Anderson: one part vulnerable, one part dangerous, and all parts heart-breaking.
Sunday in the Park With George: The version that finally made me love this uneven Sondheim/Lapine musical.
Best replacement: Marin Mazzie in The King and I. Not only was Mazzie amazing, but the entire production was better with her in it. She was sexy, funny, strong, and real--and sang gorgeously, of course.
Better on TV than in person! She Loves Me. I enjoyed this at the Roundabout, but loved it when it was televised. The close ups made it pop.
Missed opportunity: Shuffle Along. Yes, it was important, but it should have also been really good.
Most disappointing single performance of a great show: Fun Home. The cast was clearly tired--they had flown to Florida for a charity gig on their day off. I salute them for their good works, but I also paid to see them at their best. Instead, their timing was off; subtleties were lost; and the show felt a half hour longer. If that had been the only time I saw the show, I would have no idea how brilliant it is.
Best special event: Light in the Piazza 10th Anniversary Reunion Concert. One of those evenings that makes you feel intensely grateful to be alive.